Kenya: Let Peace Prevail At Polls

Voters across Kericho County and in the Malindi constituency will go to the polls on Monday after frenzied campaigns for the senatorial and parliamentary vacancies which opened up in those two areas following the last Cabinet reshuffle.

It is a healthy sign for Kenya’s democratic development that the two seats have been heavily contested between various strong parties on the political scene.

However, there have also been worrisome developments, including the heavy use of money to influence the choices of voters and overheated rhetoric from all sides which can only raise tensions.

It is essential that all players involved observe the peace in the next two days and allow the voters to make their choice at the ballot box. All parties should respect the verdict returned by wananchi.

The emerging trend where 13 people have already lost their lives in various low grade battles tied to politics in incidents across the country means it is essential that the nation stays on guard against a return to election-related violence.

The widely reported re-emergence of illegal gangs is something that should be tackled with particular rigour.

More broadly, the country should examine the question of campaign financing.

For nearly a decade, Parliament has mooted laws to control the wanton use of money to sway the decisions of voters at the ballot box but, in practice, little has come of the many promises to curb this problem.

Source: All Africa